(For the 20th anniversary of "Harry Potter," I'm looking back at the books and films of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World saga.)
(On this 20th anniversary of the day J.K. Rowling introduced Harry Potter to the world, I take a look back at "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." I'll have posts on all the books and movies throughout this anniversary year.)
In 2009, I predicted – not particularly daringly – that we'd get another "Harry Potter" novel someday. Seven years later, while that prediction isn't precisely on point, it's in the ballpark: This year saw the book release of the stage play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" – based on ideas by J.K. Rowling – and now we have Rowling's screenwriting debut, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," the first of a five-film saga.
The casting of black actress Noma Dumezweni as Hermione in J.K. Rowling's new "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" stage play – set a couple decades after the books/movies – has opened up a minefield (or treasure trove, depending on your point of view) of discussion about continuity, color-blind casting, double standards and, inevitably, racism. I personally think it's a poor casting choice, because in my mind Hermione is white. Other continuity-obsessed fans agree with me. But other, more flexible fans have said it doesn't bother them. And still others see it as a brilliant casting choice because it's so outside the box.